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Soft Focus

The new HÅG SoFi Mesh chair from Scandinavian Business Seating fuses optimum seating technology with ultimate user-friendliness, a welcoming aesthetic and a soft touch.



BY Narelle Yabuka

16 January, 2017


An irony of the advancing sophistication of many task chairs is that as their ergonomic performance escalates, many of them become more challenging to use. Optimal adjustability often comes with a complex array of levers and knobs that can dominate the appearance of the chair and, ironically, discourage adjustment due to the confusion they create.

According to HÅG’s observations of today’s rapidly evolving workplaces, this is even more of a problem given that human needs are constantly changing at work. What is needed, suggests HÅG, is empowerment for workers – ways to work better, differently, more effectively, and with greater health outcomes. The latest addition to the brand’s SoFi family of chairs, SoFi Mesh, was developed to support new ways of working without demanding overwhelming mental or physical effort.

“The major challenge for us was to create a beautiful object from something that is in fact a highly advanced machine,” says Aleksander Borgenhov of Norwegian studio Powerdesign, who collaborated with fellow Norwegian studio Frost Produkt and HÅG’s in-house design team to develop the design.

Says Borgenhov, “When we started the SoFi project a few years ago, we wanted to develop an office chair that has some of the qualities we appreciate in home furniture – the warmth and the lack of technical elements.” Adds Sondre Frost Urstadt of Frost Produkt, “We wanted to make a truly user-friendly and uncomplicated chair that inspires new ways of working and collaborating – a chair that suits most people and fits in anywhere.”

All HÅG chairs are designed for ease of movement, with the brand’s unique Balanced Movement Mechanism™ allowing it to happen sub-consciously. HÅG is the pioneer of dynamic ergonomics, the first to recognise decades ago that the movement of the whole body while seated is not only possible, it is necessary for well-being at work. In a HÅG chair, the seat tilts when you lean both forward and backward. By stimulating ankle movement, this in turn activates the circulation mechanisms of the lower legs and enhances circulation throughout the entire body. The outcome is greater energy and therefore improved efficiency at work.

Additional adjustments can be made easily. “The adjustments are integrated into the main shape. You will intuitively find them if you need them,” says Urstadt. Overall, SoFi Mesh takes on a coherent and harmonious look.

“We also developed a set of embracing armrests that provide better support and more flexibility than traditional armrests, supporting the way people actually work on a daily basis. And the best thing is, you can just slide them back and out of the way when you don’t need them,” explains Borgenhov. This means the chair can be positioned very close to the desk without losing the height of the armrests, which can continue to provide elbow support.

The shape of the backrest is one of the strongest ways to visually identify a chair, and the SoFi Mesh enjoys a clean, gently curving and distinct silhouette. Urstadt sees it as a generous and friendly silhouette – one that will provide a sense of protection to those who feel exposed in open office landscapes. Another key identifying element is the padded lumbar support pillow, which can be slid up and down and locked into the preferred position without reliance on knobs or handles. The optional headrest echoes its shape.

“I feel we have succeeded in creating a beautiful piece of furniture that still has all that you can ask from a premium task chair,” says Urstadt.


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